Until recently, there was no easy option from Microsoft for Dynamics 365 marketing automation. Instead, many organisations have had to opt for third-party solutions.
This, however, is no longer the case. In 2018, Microsoft launched the Dynamics 365 for Marketing app – a version of Dynamics 365 dedicated specifically to marketing, with a key focus on:
In this blog, we explain why it’s the right time to make the move to Dynamics 365 for Marketing.
Where and how your customer data is stored is important for delivering better outcomes, whether that’s for marketing, sales, or customer service.
If you’re already using Dynamics 365 for Sales, you can fully align marketing and sales and use the contacts you already have. This was possible with solutions like ClickDimensions; however, now there is a crucial difference in terms of where your data is stored.
ClickDimensions, for instance, works by sitting on top of Dynamics 365 for Sales. In this scenario, all the data you acquire from your marketing goes back into Dynamics 365 for Sales. Ideally, you would want this to be separate, as it takes up crucial space in Sales. For instance, if you send out one email to one person, (in reality you would be doing this on a significantly larger scale), you might get 7 or 8 bits of transactional data in the form of opens, clicks, bounces, soft bounces, hard bounces, whatever it may be.
You are generating lots of useful insight, but this is taking up space in your in Dynamics 365 for Sales; whereas Dynamics 365 for Marketing is on its own separate instance, next to Sales, so it doesn’t take up storage within your Dynamics 365 for Sales.
This way, Dynamics 365 for Marketing can sit completely on its own and interact with Dynamics 365 for Sales if and when it needs to. Your marketing data is saved solely in the ‘Marketing’ and doesn’t take up space in ‘Sales’ - meaning it won’t impact negatively on your performance – which is huge.
Because it’s new, there are still a few areas where Dynamics 365 for Marketing needs to play catch-up with its rivals.
To get the most from any solution, your users need training and guidance. A solution like ClickDimensions offers plenty of this. But this doesn’t really exist for Microsoft Dynamics for Marketing - yet. Of course, on the flip side, if your users are already familiar with Dynamics 365 then the consistent experience of using Dynamics 365 directly for marketing automation, rather than learning a new solution, is a key advantage.
It’s a similar story for support. There isn’t any dedicated support for Dynamics 365 for Marketing. Instead Microsoft offer a break/fix model, which is more focused on the technology than the context in which you use it. ClickDimensions offer great support – and, what’s more, it provides support that is contextualised specifically for marketing.
If you can’t get support or training from Microsoft, you have to go somewhere else – you have to get support from the partner community. Ultimately, there aren’t many partners that can support Dynamics 365 for Marketing at the moment. But there are a few, like Hitachi Solutions, that can help you make Dynamics 365 for Marketing work for you.
At Hitachi Solutions, we invest heavily in training our consultants to support and deliver Dynamics 365 marketing automation – both from a technical and an advisory standpoint.
As well as our understanding of the technology – not just Dynamics 365 but the whole Microsoft business applications stack – we also have targeted industry experts that are dedicated to a range of industries and sectors. These experts all have real life, hands-on experience working with organisations in their sector.
This way, we can guide and advise on the technology that will deliver your customer journeys in the context of your sector, whether that’s a Housing Association, local authority, retail or insurance company.
Dynamics 365 for Marketing has put the whole Microsoft stack back into the marketer’s decision making. Although many organisations have had success using third party solutions like ClickDimensions, others chose a different option. Many were turning to Salesforce.
Although it’s still early days, we believe that with the help of the right partner, preferably with expertise in your sector, you will find that Dynamics 365 for Marketing is the best option available.
Microsoft is taking marketing seriously. In return, marketers need to now take Microsoft seriously. Hitachi Solutions is here to help you make the most of Dynamics 365 marketing automation.
To learn more about Dynamics 365 for marketing and the specific ways that Hitachi Solutions can help you make the most of Microsoft’s new Dynamics 365 marketing automation platform,